Florida – September 2008

Day 1 – London to Jax – getting there (part 1)

Sunday 21st September

Well, today marks not only the first day of this holiday but also the first day of freedom from work. It was always an inevitability that my contract was going to end eventually and I saw the writing on the wall some months ago, which is when we decided to organise this trip. I’m in two minds about the whole thing. Sure, it’s a pain to be out of work (and thus not earning) but that’s the natural order of things you have to learn to deal with when you’re a contractor. On the other hand, I’ve worked very hard over the past 3 years and this will be the first time that I will have truly been able to put my work worries behind me. We have four weeks of Florida sunshine to look forward to. Great, right?

I’ll admit now to just a little bit of apprehension about what this holiday will have in store for us – especially given how things have gone today. Jacqueline picked us up on time and we managed to get the entire luggage into her mini-van (no mean feat given what Sandy has packed). We even left on time. Things were going well. I think it was just about at the point of no return, that point in the journey where turning around to collect something forgotten would have put the catching of our flight well and truly into jeopardy, that I realised that I’d left our park entrance tickets on the computer desk in the front room. At £600’s worth of theme park tickets, this was a significant problem. We’re now going to have to hope that someone can find them and overnight them to us before we get to Orlando later on in the week. I did have the foresight to scan the front and back of all the tickets (for just such an eventuality funny enough) and I’m sure our travel insurance would cover this but it’s just the sort of pre-holiday buggar-up that you never want to have to deal with to begin with. Another bad omen for this trip was the revelation last night that the 2-day extension to our holiday home that we had arranged some months ago with the owner has evaporated. She sent us an e-mail last night telling us that the villa had now been booked for those 2 nights. The subsequent exchange of e-mails between us was not amicable! Let’s hope that bad luck omens come in three’s since the third problem of the day (which at this point is still only just getting under way) was to hit us at the security checks at the airport. Apparently, the swabs from the kids’ double buggy caused the machine to report that it had found traces of explosives – god only knows why. Fortunately, they cleaned and purged it and tried again – and this time we were in the clear.

The kids have been great so far with the whole flight thing. No problems with popping ears or anxiety to report thus far. Jennifer has finally fallen asleep and Joey is playing with some of the new toys we’ve slowly been introducing him to throughout the flight. If things carry on this way, we’ll have come through the trip unscathed. What are the odds!?